All You Need to Know: Sandspit and Shining Waters Family Fun Park, PEI
Disclosure: Our family received a family pass for both Sandspit and Shining Waters Family Fun Park in Cavendish in exchange for this blog post. It was our goal to research the best tips for visiting these locations with your family. This is the result of our quest. All opinions are our own or those we interviewed.
It was on our son’s top list of things to do this summer – go to PEI’s Sandspit and Shining Waters Family Fun Park. We decided at the last minute to make it happen, so it was a bit tricky finding a place to stay.
Our first tip is to book early if you are coming for a summer-time adventure in PEI!
For a great overview of both, check out Daniel’s newest YouTube Video!
This was our first time to go to Sandspit. The way the boys described it was
Sandspit is like a traveling fair but permanent and better.
Sandspit has lots of activities for all ages, making it fun for the whole family.
It is a small park, which means parents can stand just about anywhere and watch the kids, or easily pick a meeting point for older kids to go off on their own for a bit. It’s manageable and not overwhelming.
We had so much fun going on the rides together, and I have to say, there is nothing better for family therapy than bumper cars and bumper boats!
1. Arrive first thing in the morning: The park opened at 10am when we were there, and we were right there at the door. It is less hot in the morning, and fewer people were in the park. This meant the line ups were much shorter. The most we had to wait for a ride was about 5 minutes.
2. Head for the roller coaster first: As it is a popular ride, the line ups can get longer throughout the day. If you start your day at the roller coaster, the line ups are shorter.
3. Go and come back: Because you get an all-day bracelet, it allows you to come and go as you please. We left the park after about 2.5 hours when it started to get really hot. Then, we went to the beach and came back after supper.
4. Return in the evening: In August, the nights are dark again, and so we came back to Sandspit when it was dark for another hour of rides. It was so beautiful to be there in the evening with all the rides lit up!
5. Sunblock! There is little shade, especially if you are in line for the rides, so don’t forget to reapply!
Shining Waters Family Fun Park
We were last at Shining Waters about 5 years ago when the boys were quite small and couldn’t go on all the rides. Since we have been, there are new additions, including a roller coaster and submarine ride we used to enjoy at Crystal Palace.
I also love Shining Waters because many of the pieces came from Rainbow Valley, one of our favourite places to visit in Cavendish when we were kids. Oh, the memories!
There are many activities for kids of all ages at Shining Waters. We spent about 2 hours in the main park before heading to the water park.
There is a lot to enjoy in the water park from roller coasters to the witches’ cave, swinging bridges, a petting farm and the topsy turvy house!
Children under 8 would get the most enjoyment out of the main park, while the water park is a great place for older kids (and younger, too!) to hang out.
1. Head straight for the water park: The water park is busiest during the peak of the day. If you head to the water park between 10 -12 or 4 – 6 when the line ups are shorter.
2. Go for single tubes: There are two waterslides that require tubes and you can either use a single one or a double tube. The line up to get the double tubes is much longer, so go for the single tubes when you can.
3. Cannon Bowl Slide: The boys discovered that this ride was a lot more fun when they went on a double tube down the ride because they had the extra weight to go faster.
4. Life jackets: kids who can’t swim need to wear life jackets in the pool (which they supply several of) and puddle jumpers/arm floaties are not allowed.
5. Lockers are available in the waterpark section of the park on a pay per use basis. The cost per use is $1.
6. Stake out a deck chair and leave your towels there.
7. Bring extra towels as ours quickly become soaked.
Both Shining Waters and Sandspit
1. Pack a picnic lunch. There are a few places to get food on site, but it’s a lot cheaper and healthier to pack your own lunch. We left our lunch in the car and went back to get it at lunch time. There are lots of tables near the parking lot.
When we visited, our boys were 9 and 11. If you are going to these parks with younger children, check out this blog post by Itsy Bitsy Haligonians with lots of great tips for visiting with youngsters.
Dogs are allowed at Sandspit.
At Shining Waters, you can take your dog in the “community park ” area before the ticket booth. Otherwise, pets are not permitted in the park. Four kennels are available to rent at the front entrance on a first come, first serve basis, for a $10 refundable deposit and can be arranged through the front entrance booth.
Tickets are available online through Maritime Fun or at the gate. CAA members receive a discount.
If you’re going with a family for any amount of time it is worth it to buy the family weekly pass called the a special package called the Slide & Ride XL.
It allows you unlimited admittance to all amusements: Sandspit, Shining Waters, Ripleys Believe it or Not and the others owned by the Maritime Fun Group. The weekly pass for a family of four was $385 for a week taxes in unlimited visits (STC).
Ticket prices drop after 4pm!
If you are looking for a great way to spend a fun day with your family, head to Shining Waters Family Fun Park and Sandspit in Cavendish, PEI!